We open, not in Venice but Chicago, where a distinguished high school produced the musical with two casts, giving alternating performances. First, on February 11 and 14:
(The video was later uploaded to YouTube.)
And on February 13 and 15:
Though the positioning has little to commend it, and the percussionist’s attempted simulation of the impact sound was less than effective, the spanking scene is notable for several aspects of its staging: the lack of a curtain forced them to stage the whole spanking, and the reaction of the girls in the background was also wonderfully piquant (especially the horrified blonde). And most surprising of all, it’s a high school production where the spanking is administered with a raised skirt, on Lilli/Kate’s bloomers!
Now on, not to Cremona but Korschenbroich in Germany, where the February 20-23 school production had this semi-familiar poster image;
On to Delaware, for the opening of the St Andrew’s School winter musical on February 21.
Then in Jacksonville, Alabama, the production at Jacksonville State University opened on February 27. The school’s own photographer didn’t oblige us with a shot of the scene, but Miss Vanessi herself generously posted the evidence on her YouTube channel.
There’s one obvious positioning problem, but at least it’s vigorous and prolonged, and the Lilli gives us her all.
The very next day in Aurora, Colorado:
Also on February 28, at the Arizona Broadway Theatre, Peoria, the curtain rose on a splendid production of Kiss Me Kate.
David Satler was Fred/Petruchio, and once he managed to get her the right way round, Renee Kathleen Koher gave one of those Lilli/Kate performances that shows what a good sport she is:
Nice decorative bloomers, Renee! Like to try sitting down now?
Didn’t think so!
For March we won’t see anything similar as we cross the ocean to go back to school… an English boarding school, to be precise:
Why was she being spanked? For stealing the show, perhaps: by all accounts she was a ‘stunning’ Lilli!
March 5 through 15 were the production dates for a high school in Missouri. Remarkably, when Fred started spanking, Lilli’s skirt was like this:
But the sheer momentum with which he flung her across his knee kept the skirt going, without any aid from him,
and once he’d gotten into his stride, it was up around her waist and she was being spanked on her underwear!
The video is here (Password: 2014CentralHigh).
In Florida, March 13-30 were the dates for the Vero Beach Theatre Guild production, with Anthony Aruffo and Roberta Rose as the leads:
The next one was posted to YouTube in mid-March, but is otherwise unidentified and may be from an earlier year.
Another school production opened in March at a high school in California:
And here’s another high school production in Washington State:
Meanwhile, in Seattle, skirts were rising, just a little:
They rose quite a bit more at the Merriam Theater in Philadelphia – formerly the Shubert, where KMK played for its very first pre-Broadway tryout in 1948. This time the shoes of Drake and Morison were more than adequately filled by Lucas Kappler and Alaina Wis when the show opened March 24:
And over at Bremerton Community Theater in Washington State, it was a full bloomers spanking for Alicia Ross at the hands of Eric Emans, for a month’s worth of performances starting on March 28:
Weeks later, in early April, down in Boone, North Carolina, Kiss Me Kate was on the stage at the Valborg Theater in a production by the Appalachian State University, and the struggling Farren Hilliard was being spanked across the lap of Remy Martin:
And on April 3, a long-running production opened in Odessa, which had several Lillis over the years. Our photo shows Yulianna Panchenko:
Meanwhile, in Virginia:
On to May, and up to Iowa, where the musical was presented by a high school at the start of the month.
The video may be viewable here.
East to Michigan next. On May 2, Kiss Me Kate opened at the Players Theater in Dearborn, in an amateur production that ran for four weekends. We only have an imperfectly posed rehearsal shot of Brett Reynolds spanking Christine Kapusky, but that’s better than nothing:
Also on May 2, the Longwood Players of Cambridge, Massachusetts, gave the first of five performances, with Tom Frates and Katherine Fuller in the key roles:
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Fred said of Lilli, ‘She hits me a lot and I give her quite a spanking.’
The production opened on May 16, but the publicity shot, with Lilli standing on her right foot and ‘flying’ as she leans forward is another example of imperfect OTK. It was better in the production itself… but not much better:
East now to Taiwan, where the National Sun Yat-Sen University’s production opened on May 28. Here are some rehearsal shots:
And here’s the finished show
And look, they’ve done it again: Lilli with both feet on the ground, not properly across Fred’s knee in the first picture and looking distinctly bored in the second. May 2014 truly was the month of botched OTK positioning!
Never mind, in June, Kiss Me Kate was busting out all over… and, since it was summer, several Freds began to follow the Peoria example and gave several Lillis a little extra airing. Here’s Paul Anthony Stewart dealing with Elizabeth Stanley in the production by the Barrington Stage Company of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Elizabeth got her nicely tight and girly white bloomers warmed up for the first time on June 11. Two days later, Jill M. French got the same treatment across the knees of Brandt Busse at the Salina Community Theater, Kansas:
The scene even made the TV commercial, with some excellent leg-work on Jill’s part. (Since this article was pubished, the video has regrettably been made private, but we may be able to do something about that in due course.)
Whereas, four days on and back in Massachusetts, there were no bloomers in the publicity shot for the production by the Monomoy Theater, Chatham, nor any kicking because Lilli wasn’t far enough down over Fred’s lap:
But at least there’s fine compensation in those excellent facial expressions from Stephen Mir and especially Caitlin Maloney, who obviously isn’t relishing the situation.
Here’s a summer production at a high school in New York:
It was only a brief spanking: the fun was abruptly stopped by killing the lights!
Over in Germany, meanwhile, you might think central European tastes in spanking scenes would serve us well. The festival production at Bad Hersfeld, which opened on June 18 and ran until August, looked so promising:
Katharine Mehrling may be wearing a wig of a color not found in nature (which is pretty typical of the German taste for the outlandish in musical theater) but at least she manages to show off the seat of her red panties to good effect:
And when Thomas Borchett tumbled her off his lap onto the ground in some early business, it could almost be a preview of our favorite scene:
So why, oh why did they play the spanking like this?
As well as the missed opportunity for skirt-raising, they made the common but fundamental mistake of letting the girl keep her feet on the floor. But on the bright side, it’s a pretty extended spanking, as can be seen here.
And still in June, it’s back to school, this time in Scotland, to see another unlikely wig adorning the less interesting end of Lilli while a dress of almost the same color stubbornly continues to adorn the other end:
Over to South Bend, Indiana, now, where the musical opened on July 25, and offered this splendid sight:
August 2 saw a performance of Kiss Me Kate at the London Proms, which was recorded by the BBC and shown on Christmas Day. It served up a little surprise when it came to the spanking. At the climax to the fight scene, Alexandra Silber played Lilli almost like a wrestler: she treated the slap to Fred’s face as a knockout blow, and raised her arms in triumph as if inciting the audience to applaud her. The ‘applause’ she actually got, as always, was from the not at all knocked-out Fred, and connected sharply with her rear end. But Ben Davis chose not to put her across his knee to do it, opting instead for a spanking position that kept the staging fluid:
Pick her up, whirl her round, spank as you go… My maxim may be that it’s never a proper spanking if it isn’t OTK, but at least OTS is nearly as good! The video may be seen here.
August also featured another student production, this time by the Opera House Theater Company of the University of North Carolina, Pembroke. Nygel Robinson was Fred, Kendra Goehring-Garrett was Lilli, and it’s nice to see proof positive that redneckery is on the retreat in the American South:
September was another bumper month, with three different productions up and down America, though sadly there was no repetition of the June outbreak of skirt-raising. First off is a nicely posed publicity shot of Edward Miskie spanking Jillian Prefach at the Show Palace Dinner Theater in Hernando, Florida:
Meanwhile in Mercer, New Jersey, Susan Fowler got it both ways from Tom Orr, left-handed in the publicity shot…
… and then right-handed in the actual performance at the Kelsey Theater…
A return visit to Chicago next, where the musical was produced by the Trinity Players. Nicole Szontagh is the goofy lady getting the spanking from stern-looking Nathan Jimenez:
And finally a return visit to Germany, where Máté Sólyom-Nagy spanked Julia Neumann for five days from September 14-18 at the Theater Erfurt:
Still in Europe, the month of October saw a first with the performance in Maastricht of Puun m’ch, prij – that’s Kiss Me Kate to you and me, translated into the Dutch dialect Mestreechs. Here’s a publicity shot featuring Philippe Dumoulin spanking a bored-looking Ghislaine Hollman:
The spanking was somewhat better in the show itself:
October 18 through November 9 saw a production by the Players’ Guild of Leonia, New Jersey, starring Kerry Dunn and Catherine Watson.
The video may be viewable here.
Back to the heart of England in November, and the production by the St Augustine Musical Theatre Company at Solihull. Here’s Ben Field spanking Chloe Rawson in rehearsal:
Theatergoers were promised: ‘Great songs by Cole Porter, interspersed by slapping, kicking, biting and of course spanking.’ And afterwards one of them reported that his young daughters had ‘loved the horse and the bottom-spanking most of all’!
Meanwhile in Germany, the Kiel Opera’s production opened on November 8, with a spanking for Heike Wittlieb from Jörg Sabrowski:
The pose, if less than ideal, is quite similar to what was used in the original 1948 production on Broadway, but it took those romantic Germans to think of having Fred spank Lilli with a posy!
Back across the ocean now, to East Carolina University on November 20, where Robert diDomenico is administering an exceedingly public spanking to fellow senior Amanda Higgins:
Said Amanda, ‘It’s the most fighting I’ve done in a role,’ adding that she found it very enjoyable.
And so do we…
And we have one last opening for 2014, it’s into modern dress we go, for a production at Nashua, New Hampshire, that opened on December 5. Maxwell McGrath was Fred, but shrewish Sarah Mattson Murai wore pants too:
And as final bonus, a quick unidentified high school production:
To see what happened in 2015, go here.